There’s a new kid on the block. That kid is Google+, and some people don’t want him around.
Of course, on most fronts, Google is far from new. It’s the most popular search engine worldwide (although perhaps not the most effective), and has also dominated the online environment with its email service, blogging platform, and other products.
On the social media front, however, Google let Facebook and Twitter slip ahead. And in a future where social media may greatly influence search engine results, Google couldn’t just let its competitors take over, especially not after Facebook joined forces with Microsoft’s Bing search engine.
The result is Google+, a new social network that prompted many people to utter a weary, “Really? Another social media network?”
I can see where these people are coming from—provided they’re personal users. But businesses? They should jump on the bandwagon as soon as they get a chance.
(Google+ business accounts are not out yet, but reports indicate they may be released soon enough.)
Here’s why businesses and marketers, whether small or large, should keep an eye on Google+:
- Only a few weeks since its release, Google+ has already reached over 25 million users. A far cry from Facebook’s 750 million to be sure, but still not bad. Indeed, it’s already been called “the fastest growing website in the history of the internet,” one that added its users at a rate that was 10 times faster than any other service in the history of social networking.
What does this mean? Being among the first businesses to have a Google+ account will help you reach a fairly new audience that’s not bombarded with competing messages, at least not on that one platform.
- Google+ business profiles will include specially tweaked analytics.
What does this mean? Facebook’s analytics leave a lot to be desired, in my opinion. If Google+ manages to provide us marketers with analytics that give us more information about our followers without putting them off, we’ll be able to offer targeted messages that do a better of job of appealing to our audience.
- Tighter integration with YouTube. No surprise here, since Google owns YouTube. I’ve always thought many marketers need to do a better job of exploiting YouTube. Google+ should make this easier.
What does this mean? People will be more likely to comment on and share a video they like, successfully spreading word about it, if they are on a more tightly integrated platform. This isn’t the case now—if someone likes a video on YouTube, they have to log in to Facebook to share it with their friends. Despite this, most of the traffic goes back to YouTube. With Google+, the traffic would stay on the same network, making it more likely for videos to be shared and liked.
For these reasons, we at BAM plan on keeping an eye on Google+ news.
What’s your take on Google+? Do you plan on opening an account when they’re released?